Slow motorists are clogging the passing lanes

We realize law enforcement is stretched thin trying to keep motorists in check.

From ensuring drivers don’t text and drive to them slowing down for pedestrians, both local and state officers are busy at an unprecedent pace.

But that’s not all. Law enforcement officers also ensure a vehicle’s occupants are wearing their seatbelts, and motorists are obeying the speed limits on both city streets and state highways.

During the last Nevada legislature, lawmakers passed a law that states drivers can receive a ticket for going too slow in the left lane. That includes California drivers who are also notorious for camping in the passing lane.

Drivers still haven’t received the word that their actions of driving slow in the fast lane is causing heartburn among Nevada’s motorists.

According to the law … “If the highway has two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic traveling in the direction in which the driver is traveling, drive in the extreme right-hand lane except when necessary to pass other slowly moving vehicles …”

It’s not happening with many of the Silver State’s drivers who must drive at the speed limit in the left lane. According to the NHP, the No. 1 issue that causes road rage on Nevada’s four-lane roadways is — you guess it — drivers poking along in the passing lane like they’re pioneers navigating across the 40-mile desert in a covered wagon.

The LVN has identified some four-lane roadways leading out of Fallon that present the most problems, and with our residents heading to Reno or Carson City for work or a day of shopping or other activities, driving on a four-lane highway can be a challenge … both behind the wheel and with temper.

The worst culprit for drivers’ inattention is the Reno Highway from Walmart to Leeteville Junction. Drivers tend to hog the passing lane at 10 to 15 miles per hour below the posted speed and will stay there for miles until they make a left-hand turn on one of the side roads or into a parking lot.

Another dangerous section is west of the USA Parkway heading into Reno. Not only are drivers chugging along at a slow pace in the passing lane, but truckers also believe it’s their right to pass another slow moving vehicle on an incline and choke traffic at a 35-40 mph crawl for one to two miles.

For local motorists going to or coming back from Carson City, the stretch of U.S. Highway from the bottom of Dayton Hill to Mound House is another culprit. On this given day, we observed a U.S. Forest Service SUV and another vehicle each cruising side by side at 50 mph from Mound House into Dayton, causing a backlog of traffic for almost six miles. The USFS driver appeared oblivious to the vehicles behind him in the passing lane, and impatient drivers were looking for a break to skirt around his vehicle in the right-hand lane.

Police can’t be everywhere, but it would be nice to see law enforcement launch a three-to-four day campaign to crack down on slow-moving motorists in our area. In Nevada, the fine for first-time offenders is a $50 fine, and the second occurrence rises to $100. A third violation ups the ante to $250. A fourth violation should ban drivers to the right-hand lane for a year.

No joking aside, one of these days, these slow-moving drivers crawling in the passing lane will either cause a major pileup resulting in a number of serious injuries or fatalities. It’s either time for these drivers to pay attention to this law or surrender their licenses. The highway is not for playing the tortoise and the hare.

LVN editorials appear on Wednesdays.


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